Somewhere, over the rainbow, a blog is born. A blog for Kansas. A blog for America. A blog by a reporter with a difficult-to-pronounce last name. But most importantly, a blog that is AMERICA'S ONLY PLACE dedicated to the vital intersection of politics and Sunflowers. The Heartland gods nod in wise approval.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

A light bulb that stays on

Today marks the 96th birthday of a light bulb, turned on in a Texas theater in 1908 and never turned off. It still burns today, though it's not the longest-lasting bulb -- that honor belongs to a bulb still burning in California since 1901.

Less discerning readers might think, huh -- that's a heckuva bulb. But this just proves what I've suspected all along -- that light bulbs can burn forever, but are rigged to fail so that corporations can continue to make profits off their sales. Planned obsolescence. After all, if you only had to buy one set of light bulbs, wouldn't the world fill up with light, dramatically reducing the size and scope of the bulb industry?

(Note to self: Investigate campaign contributions of major light-bulb manufacturers. Let's "shed some light" on this.)

President Bush is leading in "blue" swing states, according to a Knight Ridder poll. Complete results here. The good thing about a landslide -- either way -- is that it may put the whole red-blue thing to rest. But there's still reflective soil to be tilled (is that a weird metaphor or what?) Essayist Roland Merullo has an essay on red-blue America in which he asks some of the key questions.

The two Americas, conservative and liberal, worship two very different gods. It's as if the fibers that make up the human psyche are spun around opposite psychological poles. But what is the essence and origin of that fundamental difference? Why is gay marriage anathema to one group and an obvious human right to the other? Why does almost exactly half the country beam with pride when George W. speaks, and the other half cringe? Why did my liberal friends talk about the Abu Ghraib scandal while my conservative friends were focusing on mutilation of hostages in Fallujah? Why do the delegates to the Republican convention have neater haircuts and less interesting clothes?


Kansas may be a bit campaign-moribund this year, but Missouri has a heckuva gov's race, with McCaskill-Blunt in "a dead heat," according to the latest polls. South Dakota's fun too -- Thune-Daschle and Diedrich-Herseth both too close to call. I know several Kansans heading north once Congress adjourns to work for the GOP. One doesn't have to venture too far to find heated politics on the Plains -- some states are just more incandescent than others.